Full Text AR-97-001
NIH GUIDE, Volume 26, Number 2, January 17, 1997
RFA:  AR-97-001
P.T. 34

  Musculoskeletal System 
  Skin Diseases 
  Muscle Disorders 

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Application Receipt Date:  March 18, 1997
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin
Diseases (NIAMS) is seeking small grant (R03) applications to
stimulate and facilitate the entry of promising new investigators
into targeted, high priority areas of NIAMS research.  This one-time
solicitation will provide support for pilot research that is likely
to lead to a subsequent individual research project  grant (R01) or a
First Independent Research Support and Transition (FIRST) (R29) award
The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000,"
a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This Request
for Applications (RFA), Small Grant Program for the NIAMS, is related
to the priority area of chronic diseases.  Potential applicants may
obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock No.
017-001-11474-0 or Summary Report: Stock No. 017-001-11473-1) through
the  Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office,
Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone 202-512-1800).
Applications may be submitted by domestic for-profit and non-profit
organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges,
hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local governments, and
eligible agencies of the Federal government.  Racial/ethnic minority
individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to
apply as Principal Investigators.  Foreign organizations and
institutions are not eligible.  Participation in the program by
investigators at minority institutions is strongly encouraged.  Pilot
project grants awarded through this RFA may not be used to support
thesis or dissertation research.
Current and previous recipients of NIH funding through Research
Project Grants (R01) or FIRST (R29) awards are ineligible for this
Small Grant Program. Principal Investigators of research subprojects
of Research Program Projects (P01) and Centers (P50 and P60) and
individuals who have received research support from the National
Science Foundation (NSF) or Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as
Principal Investigators are also ineligible.  Individuals whose sole
previous support has been through developmental (pilot) and
feasibility studies may apply.
Former and current recipients of NIH Small Research Grants (R03),
Academic Research Enhancement Awards (R15), Mentored Clinical
Scientist Development Awards (K08), Mentored Research Scientist
Development Awards (K01), Shannon Awards (R55), or Individual (F32)
or Institutional (T32) National Research Service Award (NRSA)
training support are eligible to apply for this Small Grant Program.
However, any current support by the F32 or T32 mechanisms must
terminate before Small Grant support begins.
The work proposed may not overlap significantly with the aims of
currently supported projects in which the Principal Investigator has
participated during the last five years.  (Information on such
projects is to be provided as part of the Principal Investigator's
Biographical Sketch, as described below under Application
Investigators who have questions about eligibility should contact one
of the program officials listed under INQUIRIES.
Applicants may request up to $50,000 (direct costs) per year for up
to three years through the small grant (R03) mechanism.  It is
anticipated that grants would be awarded no later than September 30,
1997.  These awards are not renewable.  Before completion of the R03,
investigators are encouraged to seek continuing support for research
through a research project grant (R01) or FIRST (R29) award.
Replacement of the Principal Investigator on this award is not
It is estimated that $1.0 million (total costs) will be available to
support approximately 12 to 15 awards under this program.  Awards are
contingent on the availability of appropriated funds and on the
receipt of sufficiently meritorious applications meeting the stated
eligibility requirements.
The Small Grant program is designed to facilitate the entry of
promising new investigators into high priority areas identified by
the NIAMS.  Investigators may apply for a small grant to support
research in one of the following general areas:
o  Endothelial cell dysfunction leading to changes in adhesiveness or
blood vessel tone; endothelial cell interactions with inflammatory
cells and components of the extracellular matrix; phenotypic changes
and biochemical mechanisms of endothelial cell response to
inflammatory/immune-mediated tissue injury as they relate to the
normal function and diseases of musculoskeletal and connective
o  Regulatory factors controlling vascular structure, including
molecular events that regulate angiogenesis, endothelial and vascular
smooth muscle cell growth and cell death in the context of rheumatic
and other connective and musculoskeletal diseases.
o  Immune responses directed against vascular components
o  Pathogenesis of vascular manifestations of rheumatic and systemic
autoimmune diseases such as lupus, dermatomyositis, scleroderma and
rheumatoid arthritis
o  Studies of vasculitis and vasculopathies in animal models of
rheumatic diseases, with emphasis on identification of pathogenetic
mechanisms and molecular targets for therapeutic intervention
o  Therapeutic potential of angiogenesis inhibitors/modulators in
rheumatoid arthritis
o  Therapeutic potential of angiogenesis inhibitors/modulators in
psoriasis, immune and non-immune inflammation of the skin (including
irritant and allergic contact dermatitis), autoimmune diseases of
skin, atopic dermatitis, and wound healing
o  Inflammatory cell interactions with vasculature in the initiation
of immune and non-immune inflammation of the skin and in wound
o  Mechanisms of exercise-induced changes in vascularization of
muscle, bone, and connective tissue
o  Mechanisms of vascularization of new tissue during wound healing
in skin and muscle, and during formation of new bone in fracture
healing, defect repair, and integration of prosthetic implants
Mechanisms of self-recognition in autoimmunity
o  Molecular pathways and regulatory steps in self-antigen processing
o  Physicochemical properties of the complex between self-components
and antigen-presenting molecules
o  Design of therapies to prevent abnormal responses to self by
affecting antigen processing
Bone and Connective Tissue Repair
o  Formation and repair of tendons and ligaments and their junctions
with muscle, cartilage and bone, including characterization of the
cell types involved and critical regulatory factors
o  Cellular and molecular basis of osteolysis occurring at the sites
of total joint replacements, including the involvement of wear debris
particles, cytokines and specific cellular interactions
o  Mechanisms of induction of bone and connective tissue growth by
mechanical stimuli
o  Development of allografts and other materials as substitutes for
musculoskeletal tissues destroyed by tumors or lost as a consequence
of trauma
o  Mechanisms of bone growth and growth plate organization,
especially as relevant to repair of growth plate injuries and
treatment modalities such as limb lengthening
Stem Cell Biology
o  Identification, isolation, and culture of stem cells of epidermis
and skin appendages, as they relate to skin diseases and wound
healing, and to the development of skin-based gene therapy for skin
and systemic diseases
o  Characterization of the mesenchymal progenitors of chondrocytes
and osteoblasts, including factors that influence commitment to a
particular differentiative pathway, and the ability of the cells to
circulate and/or "home" to specific tissues
o  Characterization of the satellite cells of muscle, including their
derivation, location, relative numbers and relation to other stem
cell types
Other Research
o  Rheumatic and dermatological manifestations of acquired
immunodeficiency syndrome
o  Pathogenesis of alopecia areata and vitiligo.
It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups
and their subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported
biomedical and behavioral research projects involving human subjects,
unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification are
provided that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health
of the subjects or the purpose of the research. This new policy
results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of
Public Law 103-43) and supersedes and strengthens the previous
policies (Concerning the Inclusion of Women in Study Populations, and
Concerning the Inclusion of Minorities in Study Populations) which
have been in effect since 1990.  The new policy contains some
provisions that are substantially different from the 1990 policies.
All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should
read the "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as
Subjects in Clinical Research", which have been published in the
Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59 14508-14513) and reprinted
in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 23, Number 11,
March 18, 1994.
Investigators also may obtain copies of the policy from the program
staff listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide
additional relevant information concerning the policy.
Applications are to be submitted on grant application form PHS 398
(rev. 5/95).  Application kits are available at most institutional
offices of sponsored research and may be obtained from the Division
of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, National Institutes
of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910,
telephone 301/435-0714, Email: asknih@odrockm1.od.nih.gov
The following instructions are to be used in conjunction with the
information accompanying application form PHS-398 (rev. 5/95).  They
refer only to selected items in the application form.  All PHS-398
requirements must be adhered to, with the exception of those items
affected by the following instructions; for example, the Research
Plan is limited to 10 pages.  Applications not conforming to the
requested format will be returned to the applicant without review.
Please note that some of the information to be omitted from the
application at submission may be requested following review if the
possibility of funding exists.
Face Page
o  Item 2, Response to Specific Program Announcement:  Check the box
marked YES.  Enter the RFA number (AR-97-001) and title (NIAMS Small
Grants Program).
o  Item 6, Dates of Proposed Period of Support.  Up to a total of
three years of support may be proposed.
o  The RFA label available in the PHS 398 application form must be
affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application.  Failure
to use this label could result in delayed processing of the
application such that it may not reach the review committee in time
for review.
Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period (Page 4)
o  Do not complete or submit this page.
Budget for Entire Proposed Period of Support (Page 5)
o  Composite Budget Table:  Enter total direct costs requested, up to
a maximum of $50,000, for each year of support (up to three).
o  Justification:  Provide a narrative justification for each
proposed personnel position, including role on the project and
proposed level of effort
o  Provide narrative justification for the additional resources
requested for the conduct of the project.
Biographical Sketch (Page 6) (Complete for each of the key personnel
listed on Form Page 2.)
o  Research and Professional Experience:  List current position(s)
and those previous positions directly relevant to the application.
o  List selected peer-reviewed publications directly relevant to the
proposed project, with full citations.
o  Provide information on research projects completed and/or research
grants in which the investigator participated during the last five
years which are relevant to the proposed project.  For each project
or grant listed, provide title, name of Principal Investigator,
funding source, and role on project (if not Principal Investigator).
Other Support (Page 7)
o  Do not complete or submit this section.
Research Plan
o  Items a - d of the Research Plan (Specific Aims, Background and
Significance, Preliminary Studies, and Research Design and Methods)
may not exceed a total of 10 pages.  Please note that a Progress
Report is not needed; no competing continuation applications will be
accepted for an R03.
o  No appendix material may be submitted.
o  The Checklist should not be submitted.
Submit a signed original of the application and four signed copies in
one package to:
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040 - MSC-7710
BETHESDA MD 20892-7710
Bethesda MD 20817 (for express/courier service)
At the time of submission, one additional copy of the application
must be sent to:
Tommy L. Broadwater, Ph.D.
Scientific Review Branch
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Natcher Building, Room 5AS-25U
45 Center Drive, MSC 6500
Bethesda, MD  20892-6500
In order not to delay review, it is important that applicants comply
with this request.
Applications must be received by March 18, 1997.  If an application
is received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant
without review.  Only one Small Grant application may be submitted by
a Principal Investigator.  Applicants may not submit an R01 or R29
application for the February 1 or March 1, 1997 receipt date if that
application involves significant scientific overlap with a Small
Grant application.
Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by DRG.
Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant without
further consideration.  NIAMS staff will review applications for
responsiveness to the research objectives of this RFA and for the
eligibility of the Principal Investigator under the requirements
stated above.  Applications found to be unresponsive or ineligible
will be returned without further consideration.
Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be
evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer
review committee convened by the NIAMS in accordance with the usual
NIH peer review procedures.  Applications will be evaluated with
respect to the following criteria:
o  Scientific originality and significance of the proposed research
o  Likelihood of the proposed pilot project leading to the
development of an R01/R29 grant application
o  Ability of the Principal Investigator to direct the proposed
research, as demonstrated by the quality of the research plan and the
Investigator's training and experience
o  Documented availability of resources necessary for the research,
including  any needed to supplement the budget
o  Adequacy of adherence to guidelines for including gender and
minority representation in any study population.
The following will be considered in making funding decisions:
o  Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review
o  Importance of the area to NIAMS research
o  Availability of funds.
Inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or
questions from potential applicants is welcome.
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:
Dr. Susana A. Serrate-Sztein
Rheumatic Diseases
Natcher Building, Room 5AS-37G
Bethesda, MD  20892-6500
Telephone:  (301) 594-5032
FAX:  (301) 480-4543
Email:  SzteinS@ep.niams.nih.gov
Dr. Bernadette Tyree
Cartilage and Connective Tissue
Natcher Building, Room 5AS-37J
Bethesda, MD  20892-6500
Telephone:  (301) 594-5032
FAX:  (301) 480-4543
Email:  TyreeB@ep.niams.nih.gov
Dr. Richard W. Lymn
Muscle Biology
Natcher Building, Room 5AS-49E
Bethesda, MD  20892-6500
Telephone:  (301) 594-5128
FAX:  (301) 480-4543
Email:  LymnR@ep.niams.nih.gov
Dr. James S. Panagis
Natcher Building, Room 5AS-37K
Bethesda, MD  20892-6500
Telephone:  (301) 594-5055
FAX:  (301) 480-4543
Email:  PanagisJ@ep.niams.nih.gov
Dr. Alan N. Moshell
Skin Diseases
Natcher Building, Room 5AS-25L
Bethesda, MD  20892-6500
Telephone:  (301) 594-5017
FAX:  (301) 480-4543
Email:  MoshellA@ep.niams.nih.gov
Dr. William J. Sharrock
Bone Biology
Natcher Building, Room 5AS-37A
Bethesda, MD  20892-6500
Telephone:  (301) 594-5055
FAX:  (301) 480-4543
Email:  SharrocW@ep.niams.nih.gov
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:
Sally Nichols
Grants Management Branch
National Institute or Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Natcher Building, Room 5AS-49F
45 Center Drive,  MSC 6500
Bethesda, MD  20892-6500
Telephone:  (301) 594-3535
FAX:  (301) 480-5450
Email:  NicholsS@ep.niams.nih.gov
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.846.  Awards are made under authorization of the
Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410), as
amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 USC 241 and 285) and administered
under PHS grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45
CFR Part 74.  This program is not subject to the intergovernmental
review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency
The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a
smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.
In addition, public law 103-227, the pro-children act of 1994,
prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any
portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education,
library, day care, health care or early childhood development
services are provided to children.  This is consistent with the PHS
mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the
american people.

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